Outstanding Player Awards preview

I can't remember a season where so many of the MOP awards were basically sewn up by the halfway point. (Yes, we're 11 games in, but the following three players basically had things locked up since game 9.)

  • Canadian - Jon Cornish. Possibly unanimous.

  • Defensive - J.C. Sherritt, for likely obliterating the single-season tackles record.

  • Special teams - Chris Williams, hands down.

As for the other awards, there is less certainty.

  • Rookie - looks like Kory Sheets (Sask), or possibly Chris Matthews (WPG), but you never know who qualifies as a "rookie" under league rules.

  • Offensive lineman - who ever really knows this one? Generally someone from BC, Calgary or Montreal.

  • MOP is where it gets interesting:

    • In the West, we have Lulay and Cornish making cases for themselves. Nik Lewis faded a bit after a strong start. Sherritt from Edmonton, but he won't be the one to break the barrier against defensive players winning MOP. Sask may nominate Dressler, but he will be challenged by having no more games against Hamilton.

    • The East is more competitive. Calvillo is a perennial favourite, and SJ Green doesn't have the TDs to go along with the yards. Williams is a strong candidate from Hamilton; what would really help his cause is to lead the league in receiving and TDs, to go along with the special teams record. But Burris could still be the Ticats' choice if he finishes the year as strongly as he started it. Forget Winnipeg. From Toronto, Chad Owens will be a strong contender if he keeps up his momentum and gets the total yards record. I think he edges out Ray for the team's nomination.

  • East has better candidates, and should win the prize.

Can't argue with your selections and analysis. Canadian & Defensive & Special Teams POY are definitely a wrap. Others will be interesting especially MOP.

I'll expand the topic if thats okay. Who do you think will be the TiCats' nominees in each category?

Most Outstanding Player = Chris Williams
Most Outstanding Canadian = Andy Fantuz
Most Outstanding Defensive = Jamall Johnson
Most Outstanding Lineman = Brian Simmons
Most Outstanding Special Teams = Chris Williams
Most Outstanding Rookie = Chevon Walker

I should add that these are a mix of whom I would choose & whom I think will actually get the nomination.

For instance, I think Fantuz will get the nod @ MOC but I sure would like to see Matt Bucknor get the nomination. Meanwhile I would hope Simmons gets the MOL but it'll most likely be Pete Dyakowski. It's really a toss up between Jamall & Rey for MOD, but my pick goes to JJ. I just love the way he plays the game & that's by no way a knock on Rey.

I think Bucknor has been playing insane for a rookie this year. Maybe he'll give Walker a run (no pun intended) for his money as MOR.

Kory Sheets can't win Rookie of the year because he dressed for a regular season NFL game.

Ha! Got my post done just in time. This article came out tonight at 6:54pm.

CFL AWARDS PREVIEW: Chris Williams, Chad Owens both taking hard run at CFL’s top individual award


Looks like the writer agrees with me on most counts.

I say Williams should be chosen over Owens. It's not how many times you get the ball, it's what you do with it. Dare I say, returning kickoffs (which is the only thing Owens has over CW) is not the most impressive way to gain yards. They practically spot you 20 yards every time you catch the ball. Virtually every primary KO returner is averaging 20+ yards, and Owens doesn't stand out at 23.6 ... he just happens to get a lot of returns.

I thought you were gonna go with Giguere. 8)

Nailed this one, so far (for the most part).

Interesting that Owens was chosen over Chris Williams for MOP, yet Williams got the nod for special teams. The implication is that it was his play on offence that put Owens over the top. And yet, he's got just 11 more receptions for 30 more yards - and 5 fewer TDs receiving (6 for Owens, 11 for Williams).

In terms of total TDs, of course, it's not even close - 17 to 6. I guess the conclusion is that TDs don't matter as much as stacking up kick-off returns at a routine 22 yards a pop. (I wonder what the record is for most return yards in a season without a single return TD? Kind of the opposite of our guy - if TDs mattered, that is.)

In fact, the real conclusion, I believe, is that people couldn't bear to vote for the guy from the last-place team for MOP.

I think you nailed it. I don't understand why everyone goes nuts over Owens. He's as overrated as they come. He's not a bad player, but he sure as heck isn't MOP worthy. If the voters pick the guy who had 10 fumbles (eight lost) as the MOP and picked up a bunch of garbage yards on kick returns (22 yards/kickoff is hardly outstanding) they should have their votes revoked. Owens had a decent season, but to name him the most outstanding would be ridiculous.

Makes you wonder what would happen it that last second FG went wide and it was the Ticats going into this weekends game.
I think their reasoning was that Owens helped his team get into the playoffs, for everything that Willams did, he didn't help his team get into the playoffs.

When you make those types of biased, small-minded comments about the type of season Owens had, you destroy your own credibility in your quest to be seen as some sort of knowledgeable football observer.
Owens set a PRO FOOTBALL RECORD of 3,863 all-purpose yards this season. He LED THE CFL IN RECEIVING with 94 catches and 1,328 yards. He LED THE CFL with 71 kickoff returns for 1,588 yards. He's the FIRST CFL PLAYER TO LEAD BOTH CATEGORIES in a season.
In the Labour Day Classic this year, Owens had the most productive game in Argo history with 402 combined yards: 136 kickoff return yards, 90 punt return yards and 176 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Those multiple record-setting accomplishments need to be honoured by the league and I believe they will be. Williams is a special player who had an exceptional year but he's not the Most Outstanding Player in the east - not this year anyway.

I'll go about this a little different way & put my GM hat on. Lets consider for argument's sake that each divisional nominee is a FA & has said they want to test the waters ... Who would you choose?

MOP - Owens vs. Cornish
I'll take Cornish. Canadian ratio buster is the main reason. I realize Owens fills multiple roles and has tremendous production which would be a huge bonus to any team, I have issue with his turnovers. Both are kinda prima donnas & both have immense egos and I can't say that I'm a fan of either. But having Cornish, who runs & catches well, and is a Canadian ... Is a player too hard to pass up.

MODP - Sherritt vs Emry
This is tough. Sherritt was runner up for rookie last year. I wouldn't say he's a flash in the pan. He's fundamentally solid & is a textbook example of how to play MLB. The guy is all over the place. I don't give a tonne to his tackles record since Edmonton was not a good Defense & sometimes it seemed that he was the only guy who could tackle on the Eskies. Impressive season, and should be a stalwart. On the other hand, once again, Emery is Canadian. Another ratio buster. Solid NI LB's, especially inside, are hard to come by. I realize he comes with 15 yards in penalties per game & fines. But there's something about how much he gets under other player's skin & the edge he plays with. I'll take Emery. Once again mostly because of ratio.

MOSTP - Williams vs. Brown
Williams hands down. No need to discuss further.

MOCP - Cornish vs. Emery
Both previously discussed. I'll take Cornish.

MOL - Bourke vs. Olafoiye
Bourke hands down.

MOR - Westerman vs. Matthews
I'll take Matthews. Wasn't all that impressed by Westerman even though he's a non import. Matthews is a good, solid, big, athletic receiver. Not that there isn't a heavy rotation of such guys every year from south of the border, but Matthews looks good. Actually, make that Westerman. I can find a Chris Matthews type guy at FA camps I'm the spring. Westermans are harder to find.

Cornish isn't particularly good as a receiver. His receiving stats are mediocre at best.